Harvard University Dining Services will begin serving brunch on Saturdays in Annenberg Hall and eleven of the twelve upperclassman Houses this week.
The addition of Saturday brunch comes as HUDS is rolling out the latest round of changes to its menu and services, based on a semesterly student feedback survey and perennial efforts to improve food quality. Other changes include opening all dining halls between traditional meal times to provide staples like cereal or peanut butter to students, as well as new grill and bagged lunch options.
Crista Martin, HUDS director for marketing and communications, said that the decision to add Saturday brunch came directly from last spring’s student feedback survey. On the survey, 66 percent of respondents said that they would prefer Saturday morning meal service to include a brunch like the one offered on Sundays.
“Students love brunch best. I think it’s the favorite meal of all the ones that we serve,” Martin said. “Lots of students often commented that they would rather have brunch [on Saturday].... So it’s a great response and worth the change.”
In recent years, Saturday breakfast has not differed from weekday offerings, including a mix of dried cereals, fruit, oatmeal, and hard-boiled eggs. Under the new arrangement, a scaled-back, Saturday continental breakfast will be served from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. and full brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. Kirkland House will be the only exception to the change and will continue to serve regular hot breakfast early on Saturdays rather than brunch.
Changes to grill service, on the other hand, were based primarily on making offerings healthier, Martin said. Instead of items like the Boca Burger and the Chickwich, the grill now offers items like a Ruby Beet and Kale Vegan Burger, as well as the option to add fries to your order. A rotating weekly grill special has also been added.
“The grill is a vital station, as if you don’t like anything else that day you can go to the grill and order something,” Martin said. “So our overwhelming desire was to make it healthier and that we could feel proud of everything that was there.”
Though many students have praised the changes, some said they wish they were better publicized. Some Houses have emailed students about the changes, but others have relied on signs, table tents, or word of mouth.
“Why is there no publicity for this?” Blessing Jee ’17 asked. “These are such awesome options that should be announced more. If it is not, no one would know about it.”
The changes may not be without some drawbacks, others said, particularly the changes surrounding Saturday brunch.
“My concern lies with the decision that was made to change hot breakfast [in Annenberg] on Saturdays to continental, [which] in my opinion all too often [is] an inadequate breakfast,” Gurbani Kaur ’17 wrote in an email. “But I haven't had the chance to see what they have on Saturday/Sunday morning in Kirkland so we'll see if that works.”
—Staff writer Kamara A. Swaby can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @SwabyK.